Irony Is SO Dead

Or perhaps John McCain has entered a temporal anomaly, as often happened to the various Star Trek crews. Yesterday McCain said of the Russian military action in Georgia,

My friends, we have reached a crisis, the first probably serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War. This is an act of aggression.

To which I say (singing):

Have you forgotten how it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away?
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside
Going through a living hell
And you say we shouldn’t worry ’bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

I think McCain should be evaluated for possible Alzheimer’s. I’m serious. In early stages, people remember past clearly but can’t remember recent. Early stage Alzheimer’s would explain a lot.

Sam Stein writes,

Speaking to reporters about the situation in Georgia, Sen. John McCain denounced the aggressive posture of Russia by claiming that:”in the 21st century nations don’t invade other nations.”

The man’s brain neurons are not firing.

Sometimes the headline says it all:

Bush, Decrying ‘Bullying,’ Calls for Russia to Leave Georgia

Delicious. Meanwhile, the Creature still thinks he rules the world by imperial fiat:

President Bush Wednesday promised that U.S. naval forces would deliver humanitarian aid to war-torn Georgia before his administration had received approval from Turkey, which controls naval access to the Black Sea, or the Pentagon had planned a seaborne operation, U.S. officials said Thursday.

As of late Thursday, Ankara, a NATO ally, hadn’t cleared any U.S. naval vessels to steam to Georgia through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, the narrow straits that connect the Mediterranean and the Black Seas, the officials said. Under the 1936 Montreaux Convention, countries must notify Turkey before sending warships through the straits.

Pentagon officials told McClatchy that they were increasingly dubious that any U.S. Navy vessels would join the aid operation, in large part because the U.S.-based hospital ships likely to go, the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy, would take weeks to arrive.

“The president was writing checks to the Georgians without knowing what he had in the bank,” said a senior administration official.

BTW, the President, who just got back from spending most of a week sitting in the stands of various Olympic competitions in Beijing, today is beginning a two-week vacation in Crawford, Texas.

Update: My long-time fan the Confederate Yankee doesn’t like the way we lefties are giggling over McCain’s “first probably serious crisis internationally since the Cold War” line. In particular he accused Matt Yglesias of “intellectual dishonesty” for writing this:

Satyam notes “the Gulf War, 9/11, and the Iraq War, to name a few” as possible alternatives. But beyond McCain’s seemingly poor memory, the interesting thing is the confusion in terms of high-level concepts. It was just a little while ago that McCain was giving speeches about how “the threat of radical Islamic terrorism” is “transcendent challenge of our time.” Now Russia seems to be the transcendent challenge. Which is the problem with an approach to world affairs characterized by a near-constant hysteria about threat levels and a pathological inability to set priorities.

To this the CY says,

Is Yglesias actually daft enough to suggest that acknowledging a new or renewed threat is wrong, and that it should be ignored so you can stick with your party’s pre-planned script?

No, Yeglesias is not that daft, because that’s not what he suggested, as anyone with working critical thinking skills who can actually read beyond a third-grade level would have understood.

Simple answers to simple questions …

16 thoughts on “Irony Is SO Dead

  1. Throughout this entire mess between Georgia and the Russians, George W. Bush as been his usual belligerent, nasty little self. It is conceivable that he can single-handedly start a war that we worked for more than 60 years to prevent and that his father ended. It is clear to me that, W’s advanced age notwithstanding, his father should go to the White House and beat the living dogshit out of him; something he should have done daily from the time W started to crawl.

  2. My wife is Russian, so I get the spin from the blogs she reads. The Russians generally believe that Georgia committed atrocities against Russians living in Osetia (it’s an ethnic term, regardless of the nation listed on your passport).

    How much of that is true, and how much is propaganda I do not know. But the Russians have internally handled the PR beautifully.

    Bush paints this as the poor Georgians being invaded by the Russians; Rice compares it to Czechoslovakia ’68. Nowhere have I heard from Republicans criticism of Georgia for it’s heavy-handed treatment of Osetia. Russia’s actual intentions may be very different from the PR campaign claims. They are not withdrawing.

    Bottom Line – There is plenty of blame to go around here, and that may not play well with an electorate conditioned by the Republican machine who can always define the good guy (white hat) and bad guy (black hat). I am watching to see if Obama dares speak to BOTH sides of the issue and propose serious reform (which IMO would require Russia back off and Georgia allow autonomy or near-autonomy for Osetia if that’s what they want (and it is.)

    Obama may have to choose between statesmanship and smart politics. (Smart politics is to vilify the Russians.) Stay tuned.

  3. Re McCain’s comment about international crisis, I’m starting to believe that he thinks this invasion of Georgia could result in a thermonuclear war. In the fevered recent imaginings of some other wingers, the longing for a crisis that could easily escalate into a thermonuclear exchange devolved into what appeared to be serious proposals to escalate our minimal involvement into a level of involvement that would risk thermonuclear war.

    McCain should not be allowed near the White House. (Though that was first made clear to all during his weeks-long confusion of Shiite and Sunni). Too hotheaded and prone to belligerence to be allowed near the nuclear trigger. Our invasions of Panama, Grenada, surrogate invasion of Nicaragua, invasions of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, etc, in our self-declared sphere of interest, did not result in Russian involvement risking thermonuclear war.

  4. I’m hard-pressed to choose whether McCain or Bush is coming out with the most laugh-out-loud statements. It’s pretty hard to top the “first serious crisis” thing from McCain, but Bush’s “Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century” has got to be up there.

    Next week I expect to hear that clearing brush is not an acceptable way to occupy oneself on vacation in Crawford.

  5. This could be all just part of the script: Pooty Poot helping out the old team by showin’ that only a tired tried and true Washington insider and old hand like Senator McCain can man the ship of state in these stormy waters, and not that uppity Black untested rock-star Senator Obama.

    Still… the war on terror has become the new paradigm for, like, everything. (And let’s face it: W continues to put the W in WTF.)

  6. Seriously, I was wondering if in all that humongous stack of medical records McCain released, there was an alzheimers test. It is my understanding that Cindy has a short term memory problem due to a stroke. It appears he has the same problem due to ? That would be a lovely set of circumstances. A President and First Lady that can’t remember what happened yesterday.

  7. Yesterday, The Guardian had this editorial on its menu

    Unlike its US counterparts in the media, this is fact filled, contains background, is informative, is analytical, and is internally coherent. It is a crime against humanity that the media there doesn’t reflect issues like their worldwide counterparts.

    The lies, the spin, the myths are for so long, so broad, so deep, it has been generations since an unsullied fact has arisen in the public’s conscious. It is doubtful McCain has ever had the experience of skepticism even once in seven decades; if he had, it would have killed him from the shock. It is too late for the man, his cognitive debility will not repair, only from senatorial rank does he accept correction, that massive cost of maintaining such a minder being beyond reason.

    His will be a failed presidency before it begins. Cannot a country of 300+ millions come up with anything better, or is it so bankrupt that it can’t?

  8. Hey, I’m up for doing the math. The fact that McCain said this:

    the first probably serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War

    and this:

    in the 21st century nations don’t invade other nations

    and then Bush:

    calls for Russia to leave Georgia

    which led an official in his own administration to say this:

    The president was writing checks to the Georgians without knowing what he had in the bank

    and then a Rightie blogger accuses non-Righties of:

    intellectual dishonesty

    is merely rock-solid proof that, these days, the entire conservative movement, all 20 percent of the population, is writing bad checks.

    And in answer to expat’s question: “Cannot a country of 300+ millions come up with anything better?”

    Yes. The Democratic nominee.

  9. Bush is overdrawn at the Bank of Credibility. All he can do now is bellyache on how mean the Russians are, and issue empty warning. Several times already the Russians have thrown Bush’s stupity back in his face I don’t know about an international crisis, but Bush is an international joke.

    I guess there’s some truth to the biblical proverb…Nothing profits a man like a good reputation. Even the proverb from the hood would apply to Bush…Don’t let your mouth write no checks that your ass can’t cash.

  10. Dr. Helen Caldecott was granted a 20 minute interview with Reagan early on in his second term as president. People working in offices adjacent to the OO later described Caldecott as emerging from the interview ‘white as a sheet.’ She later said that it was evident to her that Reagan was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

    Since nothing catastrophic occurred during his second term, we might assume that he was surrounded by sane, intelligent, informed and prudent advisors.

    Given that that type is now a rarity in DC, whoever next sits in OO better have his mental shit together because the last 7 years has seen an alarming increase in power transferred to the office of the president of this beleaguered country.

  11. I believe that the Republicans see their only strength as being tough in a very hostile world. Not only do they portray the world as hostile but I believe they make it hostile by an aggressive foreign policy. It is not surprising that they foment trouble.
    I think they do this in domestic affairs as well. They portray us under attack from damn near everything…… including liberals.
    I think Marshall(#8) has it right. WE ARE NOT THREATENED.

  12. Norm..# 12.. Of course we’re not threatened..When Poland needs an American missle defense system on Russia’s border to defend against an attack from Iran..something is wrong. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall any historical animosity or military antagonism between Iran and Poland. It’s just a big game played by the military industrial complex to create markets and keep populations in fear. Bush is just loving this recently manufactured crisis in Georgia, it gives him a sense of validity and importance…when reality emphatically says he’s a jerk and a no-count.

  13. For those of you who love to see Fox News with Shepard Snith, check out this interview with a 12 year-old American girl who was visiting family in Osetia when the war broke out. Fox News was not expecting the young girl to thank the Russians for saving her from the assault by Georgia. The interview ends rather abruptly, presumable so Smith can wipe egg off his face.

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